Waterway

Pest plant and animal work underway in Barmah

A collaborative approach to controlling pigs, foxes, feral cats, weeds and rabbits in Barmah National Park is achieving results.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Parks Victoria (PV), Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) and commercial contractors have been working together to control pest plant and animals throughout the park.

“Weed control is focussed on high priority weeds in vulnerable habitat,” Goulburn Broken CMA Acting River Health Manager Simon Casanelia said. “Species targeted over the last year include Blackberry, Horehound, St John’s Wort, Khaki Weed, Dog Rose, African Boxthorn, Arrowhead, Desert Ash and Willow. For the 2013/14 year, we applied selective herbicide over 113 hectares of infestations. YYNAC’s Woka Wolla crews have delivered much of the on ground works and gained valuable skills and experience while also working on country as part of the Joint Management Agreement for Barmah National Park.”

Green Acres, a Yarrawonga-based commercial contractor has carried out specialist work on Arrowhead, an aquatic weed invading significant wetlands and irrigation channels across the region. 

“These works complement a region-wide effort driven by Goulburn-Murray Water to stop the weed choking waterways and fouling irrigation equipment,” Mr Casanelia said.

“Parks Victoria’s and the Sporting Shooters Association Australia’s combined hunting operation, together with a pig-trapping program, has resulted in 28 pigs being killed. Feral pigs in Barmah National Park are an ongoing environmental management issue and their control will remain a high priority to protect the ecological values of this internationally significant RAMSAR site. Parks Victoria plans to attach radio transmitters to a number of pigs to monitor their movements and assist in future control operations.”

 An autumn fox-baiting program was carried out along the boundary of the Barmah National Park and specific locations within the park where threatened fauna are known to exist. 

“More than 622 live baits were taken during this period, indicating the high number of foxes present in the region,” Mr Casanelia said.  “We know foxes can travel large distances when resources are scarce and young foxes are dispersing to new territory, so in the future we hope to be working with district landholders to assist this control effort.”

He said rabbits were mostly present in low densities, however, Parks Victoria were undertaking trapping and night-shooting to reduce rabbits throughout the park.

The five-year project is funded by the Australian Government.   For more information visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au  or  http://parkweb.vic.gov.au

A combined agency effort to control pests in Barmah is achieving results.